Course Curriculum: The Middle School Course Curriculum
Mastering Power Paragraphs and Short Response Essays
A common complaint from teachers across the nation is that students entering middle school are not able to craft organized, academic paragraphs, and short essays. This workshop focuses on critical writing techniques and strategies that will propel middle schoolers to the head of the class. During the first week of boot camp, students compose daily power paragraphs using the essaypop writing platform. By week two, they compose daily short essays. Every paper produced undergoes detailed assessment and review.
Orientation /Understanding and Mastering the Power-Paragraph Structure
Compose four power paragraphs, each with increasing levels of complexity and sophistication. Paragraphs will all be evidence-based and cover different domains such as argument, exposition, and literary analysis.
- Review the constituent elements of an academic, power paragraph, and short-response essay and learn how they contribute to a sophisticated, finished paper.
- Understand the importance and subtleties of crafting effective topic sentences.
- Learn how to lead into and contextualize evidence and quotations.
- Understand the importance of analysis and the development of one’s voice within an academic paper.
- Discuss the importance of the feedback/revision cycle.
Expository/Mastering short-response essays
- Compose one literary analysis and one argumentative paper.
- Write two 30-minute timed essays in which you analyze a short piece of literature.
- Develop close reading strategies and learn how to engage with expository texts.
- Manipulate evidence within the paper to make a point and develop an argument.
- Learn to use engaging hooks and reflective closers as framing devices for the essay.
- Develop a formal tone with academic sentence stems and carefully chosen diction.
- Learn to organize thought and compose quickly in a timed-writing environment.
- Engage actively in the feedback/revision cycle.
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